A civil ceremony is a non-religious, legal marriage ceremony performed by a government official or functionary. Civil ceremonies have become increasingly popular over the years, because they’re typically the fastest and easiest way to get married. Unlike a religious ceremony, civil ceremonies offer flexibility. You can make your civil ceremony as special and unique as you want it to be. During a civil ceremony, you also have free rein to make your special day as creative as you want.
Make the location for your wedding unique. Unlike a religious ceremony, you don't have to get married in a church, mosque or synagogue. While most civil ceremonies take place in City Hall, it's not unusual for them to take place at the beach, lake, theme park, hotel or other similar venue.
Purchase your wedding dress and the groom a suit. Or if you both prefer, in civil ceremonies, you have the option to wear casual attire or event costumes.
Pick a theme for your civil ceremony. This can range from a Western-themed to a medieval-themed ceremony.
Hire an officiant who will make your ceremony special, someone who reflects your love and personalities. When applying for your marriage license, ask for advice on finding someone to pronounce you man and wife.
Write your own vows or personal readings. This can be poems or songs that are special to both of you as a couple.
Make your own invitations to reflect your style. It’s also a good way to save money.
Select music that also reflects your personality. The music doesn’t have to be formal. In fact, consider a live band or using a disc jockey. The music played should reflect each stage of the ceremony, before and after.
Set up a table with pictures of you as a couple. Or if you prefer, set up a large projection screen at the site of your ceremony to have photos played on the screen.
Get ready to enjoy the big day. While planning a wedding can be stressful, the hard work is worth it in the end.
Obtain your marriage license several days before the actual wedding ceremonies. Many officiants will not perform the ceremony without proof of one. Remember that some states require a waiting period between the time the license is issued and the time of the marriage ceremony.